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Four years ago, the nation met Barack Obama in the 2004 Democratic National Convention Keynote Address. Near his conclusion, Obama made this statement:

“Hope—Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope! In the end, that is God’s greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation: A belief in things not seen, a belief that there are better days ahead. I believe that we can give our middle class relief and provide working families with a road to opportunity. I believe we can provide jobs to the jobless, homes to the homeless, and reclaim young people in cities across America from violence and despair. I believe that we have a righteous wind at our backs and that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices, and meet the challenges that face us.”

Now, four years after, we haven’t experienced the change our country deserves, at least not in the positive sense. We have accumulated debt, loss and uncertainty abroad. Whether you vote Obama or McCain, the next president is going to change our lives, for better or for worse. I find Aretha Franklin’s cover of Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” to be one of today’s most compelling songs: